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Re: Programming And Evolution

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Posted by daViper on August 5, 1999 19:34:03 UTC

: Here is my contributions to the evolution theory. : Allthough Iīm not an evolution professional, my current : occupation as computer programmer gave me this Idea. : I call it the "Need for both male and female species" theory.

: Letīs start with a bit of object oriented programming, named : multiple inheritance:

: Object A has one method named AA. AA performs a simple calculation, like: 1+1. : Therefor method AA will return the value 2.

: If we create an Object B and let it inherits its behavior from Object A, : Object B will also have a method AA which returns the value 2.

: We also decide to create an Object C, which also inherits from Object A. : But instead of using method AA from Object A, we decide to override this method : and create a method AA in Object C which return the value 7.

: So far no problem.

: The problem starts with multiple inheritance, that is letting one object inherit : from two other objects. : Lets create an Object D which inherits from both Object B and Object C. : This is where to problem starts, because there is NO WAY of telling : what values method AA from Object D will return? Will it be 2 (as in Object B) or 7 (Object C).

: There is only one way to avoid problems arising from multiple inheritance (aside from avoiding it): : Some how either Object B or Object C must be dominant, and Object D will only inherit : dominant methods and methods with a unique occurance. : A consequence of the above is that Objects can only inherit from : Object with a different dominance structure (like male or female).

: To say it simplistic: producing a child (Object which inherits) we : need a male and a female. Two males canīt produce a child, neither can two females.

: Why Evolution needs mulitple inheritance: : In order for species to be able to evolve new characteristics (methods) : must be added. If all children where exact copies of there parents : there wouldnīt be any evolution. : Therefor children must inherit from two or more parents, but during the creation : of the child there has to be decided which feature will be taken from which parent. : Hence: decide dominance.

: : The only thing Iīm still wondering about is why nature only has two types of species (male and female). : By using dominace I can let a child inherit from more then two parents. : So why doesnīt nature do so? (Create a new type within the species?)

: : Gerwin

:::::::::::::::::: Excellent analogy! As a fellow software engineer, I like your style.

I'm going to recommend that you pick up a copy of "The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins. He IS an evolutionary biologist who indeed uses software to illustrate just what you are putting forth here. (It's available on

As to the requirement possibility for more than 2 sexes, he can explain it better than I can, and does in his book, but I also would not rule out the possibility that multiple sexuality may have evolved somewhere.

SF has played with this idea in several ways for life on another planet.

Who's to say for sure.

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